Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Truman Show

Released in 1999, the story of Truman Burbank and his utopian life is one that remains highly relevant till this day. Up until a few years ago, I used to walk out of the house thinking I was being watched. Whether I was sitting on a completely empty train, walking through a crowd or sitting in a class, I was convinced that I was being judged and analysed from somewhere, somehow. The Truman Show captures that feeling and nails it exactly. Except, Truman is actually being watched, by millions, and his life is being portrayed as a Television show worldwide.

Motion Picture from
When you’re sitting in your Literature class and your teachers pulls out an old Shakespeare text and says that Shakespeare used a metaphor to present this and this simile means that; and you just wonder, really? Did Shakespeare really intend for all of these hidden meanings behind his writing? Andrew Niccol’s screenplay is similar in that I’m certain he didn’t intend to write an original piece that would 1) predict the nature of Reality TV, 2) present an illusion that would confirm the common feeling of being watched [such as mine above], 3) show the frailties of existence, 4) portray the weirdest form of voyeurism, 5) place a God-like character (Christof) as the antagonist and many more aspects of the writing that were analysed by critics, academics and audiences post-release. I’m glad I didn’t have to study this movie and I really think that they should take it away from all academic syllabuses. The Truman Show is a joyous story, a satirical comment on the over-analytical nature of the human being. To force the story on educational papers would snatch the luxury of making your own judgement on the movie. Instead, you’ll think what the academics and the teacher thinks.

Jim Carrey delivers his greatest act in a role that seems curated for him only. I truly enjoyed the [literally] supporting cast and their contributions. Truman’s best friend is a beautiful liar, his wife is an imperfect actress, and the people he bumps into every single day do a consistent job of being repetitive. The scene where his father returns is amazingly fake but still manages to hit an emotional nerve due to the background music, the camera angles and the honest acting from Carrey; what an awkward scene. Ed Harris is close to stealing the show with his sure and stern portrayal of Christof. His justification during the interview scene is admirable. The comparisons of Christof to Christ are a little bit much but I respect whoever concluded that and I’m sure the makers of the movie would appreciate it too. Conclude of it what you want. Give your own take on what the makers intended but make sure you remain open enough to truly enjoy this masterpiece, which lives as one of the greatest movies ever made.

My theatrical version of Stan

My theatrical version of Stan